- 2023 Native Tree and Shrub Sale
- Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Height: 50 to 80 feet
Spread: 20 to 40 feet
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil & Black Walnut
Use: Pollinator tree that attracts butterflies and birds
Native to: Jefferson County
The Eastern White Pine is perhaps one the most plentiful and recognizable evergreens in Jefferson County. The evergreen is grown for its quick growth habit and lumber qualities. Many homeowners use the tree as a privacy screen, but this must be done with caution as mature trees tend to limb themselves up – lower branches die off and drop. The long blueish-green bundles of needles grow in bundles of five needles per cluster which is a helpful identification aide as the needles will spell “W-H-I-T-E.”
In Jefferson County, the Mingo Chief, Logan the Orator, moved several of his people to the mouth of Yellow Creek where there was a great stand of Eastern White Pine. Here they tapped the trees to extract the resin, which they used as salve and to aid in kindling fires. It was while Logan was out performing this work with several of his men on April 30, 1774, that his family was lured across the river and brutally massacred which ultimately led to Lord Dunmore’s War.
The Eastern White Pine was the definitive lumber tree in early America. The masts of ships where crafted from the tree as well as many of the original structures of Colonial America. Fearful that the Eastern White Pine would return to the colonies, in forms of mast on ships bringing British Troops, the Colonial Congress outlawed the export of the tree in 1774. The tree was such a prominent feature of the American identity that the first flag of the Revolutionary Army that was commissioned on October 21, 1775 bore an Eastern White Pine.
The July 4, 1829, issue of the Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette carried an advertisement that notified the readers that "steamboats, keel, flat, and all other kinds of boats built at short notice and on reasonable terms at the boatyard of the builders." The notice, entered by Elijah Murray, Thomas Thompson, and William Murray, for their shipyard which was located at present day Blum Park (behind the Jefferson County Justice Center) mentions that while oak was recommended for the hull, white pine is used for decking, cabins, masts, and spars.
Eastern White Pine serves has a host plant to 231 species of butterflies and moths in Jefferson County. ■